For many years, lower tiered collegiate teams have served themselves up on a silver platter to schools in higher divisions for monetary gains. Referred to, usually in a derisive manner, as “cupcakes”(from the Power 5 perspective) , these “cut the check” games go a long way to help alleviating the financial shortfall that plagues the athletic programs of these smaller institutions. Fans, as well as many coaches and athletic administrators of these schools have had to come to terms with the fact that taking these beatings is a necessity for their programs to survive.
Since becoming head coach at Jackson State, Deion Sanders has let it be known how he feels about such games, saying this during a SWAC coaches teleconference back in 2021:
“Normally you just get paid to go to get beat, right?” “That’s really the goal, right? Somebody pays you, your program makes more money than they normally will to go get your butt kicked.
I don’t believe in that.
Normally when you play against a powerhouse like I see some of the HBCU schools have taken, it helps the budget, but it kills the morale,” Sanders said. “How can getting your butt kicked, I mean really kicked, help you as a team? Financially, cool. All money ain’t good money.
At the end of Monday’s SWAC coaches call, Coach Sanders once again railed against the practice, not only the games themselves but comparing the payouts that several HBCUs with that of PWI/HWCs, calling it “minute droppings.” Sanders asked the rhetorical and not rhetorical question, “If we gone get our butts kicked, shouldn’t it be worth it?”
He also called for SWAC schools to get together to form a committee to negotiate for better numbers.
Coach Prime also said that the money generated from these games should go strictly to the football program